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Monsoon Poem: Before And After Rain
Dry Plain, Green Paddy Fields
This poem was written in 2006. I was sitting in the plane and it was a long two hour journey. I picked up the in-flight magazine in the seat-pouch before me, and was leafing through the glossy pages, when my eyes were struck by a photograph. I thought, “Let me try describing the scene poetically.” So I got my brain working , and after some time I crafted the first line of the poem. Then my imagination got going, and soon I was in the scene of the photograph before me, imagining the dry summer drought, and the clouds gathering in the sky, and the wind blowing, and the cry of the parched fields for the long-awaited showers of monsoon rain.
The poem in two stanzas shows the contrast between ‘before rain’ and ‘after rain’. Everybody loves the scene after rain. The rains bring life to the South and East Asian countries. The saplings are paddy saplings, and in the villages you can see the women bent over, planting little saplings in rows in slushy water-filled farms of wet land. The chief crop grown in our part of the world is rice, but every farmer who owns a plot of land for growing paddy also keeps a couple of milch-buffaloes for milk. Agriculture and animal husbandry go side by side in the rural areas of this country. So that is why the poem closes with the picture of a placid buffalo relaxing in a pond or a ditch.
Time to read the poem below!
Before and After Rain
wind has exposed the light undersides of the leaves,
The sky darkens into a mass of ash and bluish grey,
The neem trees, all a-huddle, heave
The unploughed fields, dry and parched with pain,
Eagerly await the first reviving flush of rain.
The arid landscape, languishing and about to die,
Weeks later looks refreshingly alive.
Fields covered with saplings moist and green
Present a healing scene.
In the ditch where gurgling waters flow
Reposes a tranquil milch-buffalo.
Tom Prato/Tan Pratonix